I'm a sucker for a good lullaby...
A few years ago (uhm... eleven), I came across a CD of lullabies from around the world that can still calm me in an instant. I was in my mid-twenties and looking for a few soothing sleep-helpers amidst the roller-coaster experiences inherent in that age and my new life as a performing arts student in Boulder, Colorado (fun times). That's when I discovered chamomile tea, lavender bouquets, mobiles (I made my own from sticks and feathers and things I found in my neighborhood) and this CD, On A Starry Night.
I'm a sucker for a good lullaby...
Alt txt: Mother gently supporting baby's head while singing to him. Baby is falling asleep on her chest carried in a stretchy Boba baby wrap.
Years later, thinking about those soothing love-filled melodies, inspired me to compile a list of top ten most beautiful lullabies. Most are my own personal favorites, but I got a little help from my friends, too.
10. Hush Little Baby
A natural, this song is one of the first I ever learned. I think I first heard it in preschool. I remember straining to learn the lyrics. But its beautifuly repetitive nature is sure to rock any baby to sleep... if only repeated, and repeated. I loved singing this one to my littlest while carrying her in my Boba wrap and doing things around the house. That combo worked like a charm!
9. Go To Sleep You Little Baby
Another classic, this americana ballad provides an irresistible foundation for stacks and stacks of gorgeous harmony. I particularly like the version sung by Alison Kraus, Gillian Welch, Emmylou Harris, and Patty Griffin. Here's a link to a YouTube video of the Go to Sleep You Little Baby sung by the first three. This song is also featured in the Coen Brothers' film O Brother, Where Art Thou. Again... on repeat in our house at naptime.
8. Brahm's Lullaby (aka Cradle Song)
I never knew what this song was called until I started digging around for my friends' favorite lullabies, too. And lo and behold... Here is a version sung by Frank Sinatra, sure to knock your babe to sleep or make you weep.
Alt txt: Mother kissing the top of the head of her sleeping baby while carrying him in the Boba X baby carrier.
7. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
"...up above the world so high like a diamond in the sky..." this was sung around the house by me when we had little babies and by my babies once they were old enough to sing & memorize the lyrics. Here is a version by a 7-year-old Youtube singing sensation accompanied by a 5-year-old on a ukulele. Enjoy & you're welcome!
6. Hey Jude
Written by John Lennon and Paul McCartney and tweaked for John's son Julian, this is the lullaby my friend Julien was sung as a child by his mother. A very nice bedtime soother, I think & this cover is just breathtaking! Calms my baby (and me) in mere moments, especially when we put on our Boba X carrier and sway to the rythm together.
5. Frere Jacques (Are You Sleeping)
This is a favorite of my friend Danette and is sung beautifully by this a cappella group - something out of this world!
4. Baby Mine
This heartbreaker from Disney's Dumbo is not only something I'd love to sing to children, but I also added it to my jazz/lounge set list a while back (I'm a singer, too). You can really "smoke" this one up with a little trombone and a husky voice, which makes it a little less of a tear-jerker (but not much, reall).
Alt Txt: A peacefully sleeping baby being carried by his smiling mother in a black stretchy Boba wrap.
3. Dream A Little Dream
Made famous by Louis Armstrong, Ella Fitzgerald, and Doris Day, among others, this is a real sweetie. My friend Pam sings the Mamma Cass (The Mamas & The Pappas) version to her girls all the time! I first remember hearing this song when I was eleven-years-old in the "two Corey's" hit film of the same name. It probably stuck in my memory because I had a huge crush on Corey Haim (I'm sure I'm the only one).
2. Common Threads
Written and performed by Bobby McFerrin, I had not listened to this song for many years when one day recently my boyfriend (a #1 caliber McFerrin fan) put it on while I was distracted by something else. The whole world melted for a moment! There I was in that huge house with a bunch of other college students, having painted my room like a sky and sipping chamomile the night before a big show...
Seldom has any song been on repeat so often and continuously in my home. A song from Kenya about children bringing in cattle from the rain as performed by Ayub Ogada is among my favorites of all time for its soothing melody, imbera-plucked counter-melody, and lilting vocal delivery. I can listen to it for hours (and have). You may recognize it from the soundtrack to The Constant Gardener, though it was already around a long time before the film.
I hope you enjoy this selection and that it rocks you and your babe right to sleep whenever needed!